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Kui or Kuoy or Suay
Kui or Kuoy or Suay
Kui or Kuoy or Suay
Overview
Kui people are found in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. They are also known as Kui, Suay and Kamen-boran (which means ancient Khmer).In Cambodia they live primarily in the north-central part of the country, in Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom provinces. Their villages are mostly in remote areas interspersed with Khmer villages. Early inhabitants of the area, the Kui did not have an advanced civilization or empire like the Khmers. In the past they had a reputation as iron ore smelters and blacksmiths, but those skills seem to have been lost.

Sui or Kui in Thailand, we can find them in Sisaket, Surin and Burirum Provinces. The way of lives,they are buddhist people as same as to all Thai people. The main jobs over are agriculture to grow up the rice.
Language
In appearance they do not differ from the Khmers. They have their own language, unwritten until recently. One folk tale is that the village elders originally wrote their language on a pig skin but then dogs ate it so their writing was lost. Kuy is in the Mon-Khmer language group and there are several dialects. Most Kuy people also speak Khmer and in some places they are losing their own language.
Lifestyle and House
The Kuy are mostly poor wet rice farmers. Farming is labor intensive, plowing with cows or water buffalo and transporting goods by oxcart. They grow few other crops, though in some areas they grow cashews. They also raise chickens, pigs and cattle. Many also gather forest products like resin, wood and traditional medicines although this is changing due to rapid deforestation. Frequently their diet consists of rice eaten with salt and chili peppers. Kuy villagers live in houses like those of their Khmer neighbors, bamboo and thatch on stilts. Their fields are typically some distance away surrounding the village.
Religious, Beliefs, and Rituals
Their beliefs are a mixture of animist and Folk Buddhist ideas with animism being the older and more dominant belief structure. Buddhism is increasing in their areas as they assimilate more with the Khmer people. For example one large village now has a very simple wooden Buddhist temple built less than 10 years ago. Many wear strings tied around the neck, waist or wrists to ward off evil spirits. They mostly rely on traditional healers in the case of illness.
Dress
Their dress is not different from that of the Khmer people. They typically wear Western type clothing, though women often wear a sarong. Both men and women use the Cambodian Krama (checked cotton piece of fabric) as scarves, head wear, belts, wraps for bathing and other uses.
Lawa or Lua
Lawa or Lua
Lawa or Lua
Overview
The Lua People are a minority cultural group native to Laos, although some also live in Thailand. The Lua have been in Chiang Mai the longest of all hilltribes. They are thought to have originated from the Lawa who were pushed into the hills by the men from Haripunchai and the Tai. Probably the least known of the northern Thailand mountain minorities the Lawa are probably the most interesting. The Lawa were the first people to inhabit the Chiang Mai valley in historic times.

Today the Lawa have either fully assimilated into Thai society as in some villages in the Chiang Mai city area and only retain some of their language, or they have been marginalised into hilltribe villages in the Mae La Noi and mae Chaem areas. They might sometimes be seen in the market at Mae Sariang. These hilltribe Lawa are mixing and intermarrying with the neighbouring Karen. They are not migratory, like many of the hilltribes, but live in settled villages that have been there for sometimes hundreds of years.
Language
Lua speak a language related to the Mon-Khmer family of languages. Their language is of the Mon-Khner group and they have many rituals and spirits of which the Karen are very afraid. According to some they may have been affiliated to the Wa at some time in the past, and although the Lawa and the Lua are usually assumed to be the same, there is evidence that they were quite separate ethnic groups. In addition, almost all Lawa nowadays speak Thai and many still speak their indigenous language which is closely related to the 'Wa' tribe of Burma.
Lifestyle and House
Lifestyle: Although many of the Lawa have disappeared unnoticeably into Thai society, there are small groups who still live separately along s 500 kilometer stretch of the Bo Luang Plateau and the mountainous area of Umpai. Even in these traditional villages, however, many residents have traditionally Thai style houses and have incorporated Buddhism into their traditional religious beliefs.

Economy: The economy of the Lawa is primarily based on agriculture such as rice. They use an innovative process of terraces rotation systems to produce their crops. This technology makes them fairly successful at cultivation.
Cultural and Traditional
They cultivate wet padi rice and sell vegetables and forest products to the local markets. The Lawa practise shifting cultivation of the rotational type and are skillful in making wet rice terraces. They are recognised as being the most conservation - minded land users in the highlands.

Marriage and Family: The marital style of the Lawa is monogamous, which is pretty traditional in this part of the world. They are also traditional in the sense that their descent is traced matrilineal. Once a Lawa girl gets married, she will begin to wear her hair in a turban. The skirt and blouse of maidenhood is replaced with a long fawn dress. All women in the Lawa tribe wear the yellow and orange beads regardless of marital status. You will often see Lawa women smoking tobacco from a pipe.
Cultural and Traditional
They believe in good and bad spirits and profess a belief in Buddhism. Although many have adapted their lifestyles to that of a Buddhist, they are generally animists by tradition, and ancestor worshippers.

Many of the Lawa have found ways to adapt their own religious beliefs to that of Buddhism. Buddhism lends itself well to this, as it sometimes considered more of a philosophy than a religion.

As for traditional animists, they tend to have very nature-oriented religious beliefs. Animists believe that every living thing on Earth possess a soul, including animals and plants. Animists are for the most part, descendents of ancient earth based religions. It is likely that most all cultures were at one point, animists. This is still a very popular religion among indigenous groups of people all over the world, as well as some non-indigenous groups.
Dress
Traditional lawa women dress differently to show marital status. Young, unmarried girls wear white blouses with pink trim. They also wear a traditional skirt that is made of blue, yellow, and pink parallel bands. They also wear strings of yellow and orange beads.

The women may wear costumes that have blue tunics and skirts to below the knees as well as a turban, but the men dress ordinarily. In dress they sre similar to the Karen except the women wear a short sarong with a lightening pattern, wear a lot of brightly coloured beads around their necks, and can occasionally be seen with black lacquered leg bands made of cane.
H'Tin
H'Tin
H'Tin
Overview
The H'Tin are a tribal group that can be found only in the northern province of Nan. Actually, the H'Tin belong to the same group as the Lua or Lawa. The local Thai in Nan call them H'Tin, that literally means "local", because they are long time residents of that locality. The H'Tin live in the forest areas along the Thai-Laos border in Nan province.
Language
To communicate with each other easily because most of H'Tin speak as a native of the North
Lifestyle and House
They make and sell salt, and are skilled with bamboo.
Cultural and Traditional
The H'Tin of Nan have a similar cultural development as of the Lua in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. That is, they have also been much absorbed into other tribal groups, especially by the Thai, so that it is now hardly possible to identify the H'Tin from the Thai, except through their different style of house building, of crop farming and through the use of dialect among group members.
Dress
Both men and women are dressing in modern style. The costumes of their tribes is rare.
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